Expect to see Narooma RSL sub-Branch members outside Aldi on the first Saturday of every month.
They are there to raise awareness and gather information for their project of refurbishing soldiers' graves that have fallen into disrepair.
Funding the project is a secondary issue.
The main obstacle is they cannot work on a grave unless they have the permission of the soldier's family.
How the project came about
The branch had the idea in 2019 but it was the passing of Allan Forster, one of the last surviving Rats of Tobruk, in March 2020 that kick-started things.
Narooma RSL member and Department of Veteran Affairs welfare officer Ian Noormets raised around $7000 through crowdfunding and the proceeds of the 2021 Anzac Day Two-Up game "to give this hero of Australia this headstone".
"After the RSL and Mr Forster's family honoured the newly-completed memorial, I started walking through the cemetery and found other servicemen's graves that needed looking after," Mr Noormets said.
That is when he began thinking about refurbishing the graves of service personnel that were not maintained by a government agency.
Support from council, RSL sub-Branch
Mr Noormets said Eurobodalla Shire Council staff were very helpful.
They helped him get the information needed to start the project.
However they required insurance cover and the documented approval of the memorial custodian or relative.
Narooma RSL sub-Branch has supported the project and helped with fundraising, including allowing Mr Noormets to collect funds at the two-up game on Anzac Day and a contribution from their weekly seafood raffle at Club Narooma.
How you can help
Mr Noormets said the monthly information sessions at Narooma Plaza are to obtain information on various graves and memorials they would like to refurbish so they can contact relatives and get their approval.
"We are also highlighting that there are some interesting memorials and characters that have been a part of Australia's history," he said.
If you know of a soldier's grave that needs restoring and know a relative of the soldier please get in touch with Ian Noormets on 0427 921 563.
Their immediate attention is six graves of soldiers from World War I.
"It is mainly about getting the information about them and getting the approvals," Mr Noormets said.
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